Funny Oracle rulings

This is a collection of Magic: the Gathering card rulings on Gatherer, the official Magic card database. Because the database is also called “the Oracle card database”, these are Oracle rulings.

Usually, rulings clarify interactions between cards or edge cases, and these rulings often do so, but each of these rulings is special in that it contains a joke.

Have fun reading.

  • Rhythm of the Wild
    • If a creature enters the battlefield with two instances of riot, you may choose to have it get two +1/+1 counters, one +1/+1 counter and haste, or two instances of haste. Multiple instances of haste on the same creature are redundant, but we’re not going to tell the Gruul how to live their lives.

  • Queen Marchesa
    • The last ability of Queen Marchesa (long may she reign) checks to see if an opponent is the monarch as your upkeep begins. If no opponent is the monarch, Queen Marchesa’s (long may she reign) ability won’t trigger at all. Queen Marchesa’s (long may she reign) ability will also check to see if an opponent is the monarch as it tries to resolve. If no opponent is the monarch at that time, Queen Marchesa’s (long may she reign) ability will have no effect.
  • Void Winnower
    • Yes, your opponent can’t even. We know.
  • Ertai’s Meddling
    • If Ertai’s Meddling is used to copy a spell being cast face down due to Morph ability, the spell will create a face up, 2/2, colorless, nameless creature with no text. This may be a little counter-intuitive, because you might expect the card to enter the battlefield face down like it would have when originally cast, but Ertai’s Meddling copies only the original spell and not the entire card the spell represented.
  • Psionic Entity
    • The artist is actually Justin Hampton.
  • Sleeper Agent
    • This card is a bit weird. When it enters the battlefield under your control, you give control of it to an opponent. After that it damages them each turn because the “you” on the card means its controller.
  • Lion’s Eye Diamond
    • The ability is a mana ability, so it is activated and resolves as a mana ability, but it can only be activated at times when you can cast an instant. Yes, this is a bit weird.
  • Falling Star
    • It must flip like a coin and not like a Frisbee.
  • Ivy Seer
    • You can reveal zero cards and give +0/+0.
  • Victimize
    • Victimize can be used to put both parts of the B.F.M. onto the battlefield at once.
  • Nameless Race
    • This currently has no creature type. It’s Nameless.
  • Mindslaver
    • You could gain control of yourself using Mindslaver, but gaining control of yourself doesn’t really do anything.
  • Candles of Leng
    • Unless something weird happens, the card that’s drawn will be the card that was revealed.
  • Island of Wak-Wak
    • This is not an Island.
  • Opalescence
    • This is the current interaction between Humility and Opalescence: The type-changing effect applies at layer 4, but the rest happens in the applicable layers. The rest of it will apply even if the permanent loses its ability before it’s finished applying. So if Opalescence, Humility, and Worship are on the battlefield and Opalescence entered the battlefield before Humility, the following is true: Layer 4: Humility and Worship each become creatures that are still enchantments. (Opalescence). Layer 6: Humility and Worship each lose their abilities. (Humility) Layer 7b: Humility becomes 4/4 and Worship becomes 4/4. (Opalescence). Humility becomes 1/1 and Worship becomes 1/1 (Humility). But if Humility entered the battlefield before Opalescence, the following is true: Layer 4: Humility and Worship each become creatures that are still enchantments (Opalescence). Layer 6: Humility and Worship each lose their abilities (Humility). Layer 7b: Humility becomes 1/1 and Worship becomes 1/1 (Humility). Humility becomes 4/4 and Worship becomes 4/4 (Opalescence).
  • Lich’s Mirror (not funny, just long ^^)
    • As part of Lich’s Mirror’s effect, it typically shuffles itself into your library. If it does, that means that if you’d lose the game *again* immediately after its effect is finished, it can’t help you a second time. This can occur in a few different ways. For example: — You have ten or more poison counters. Lich’s Mirror doesn’t remove poison counters. If you’d lose the game this way, you’ll do what Lich’s Mirror says, then you’ll lose the game the next time state-based actions are checked. — Your life total is 0 or less and an effect says that you can’t gain life. Since your life total can’t be raised, it stays at whatever it is rather than becoming 20, and you’ll lose the game the next time state-based actions are checked. — The number of nontoken permanents you own plus the number of cards in your hand, graveyard, and library is less than seven. When you try to draw seven cards as part of Lich’s Mirror’s effect, you’ll be unable to complete at least one of those draws and you’ll lose the game the next time state-based actions are checked. — You control *but don’t own* a permanent such as Immortal Coil with a triggered ability that causes you to lose the game when a certain game state happens (also known as a “state trigger”), and the condition that causes the “lose the game” ability to trigger hasn’t changed. If you owned the permanent, Lich’s Mirror would shuffle it into your library. In this case, however, it remains on the battlefield and its ability will trigger again.

Un-cards with funny rulings

  • Better Than One
    • It doesn’t have to be someone who plays Magic. This may be fun.
  • As Luck Would Have It
    • Any die roll with a numerical result will add luck counters to As Luck Would Have It. Rolling the planar die will not cause the second ability to trigger.
  • Baron von Count
    • If a player is destroyed, that player loses the game. There aren’t any ways for a player to regenerate… yet.
  • Blurry Beeble
    • The glasses don’t necessarily have to be on a player’s face for that player to be wearing them. Hanging around your neck, up on your head, or sitting on your leg to make some adorable little denim monster all count.
    • You can’t remove your opponent’s glasses before casting Blurry Beeble, although you may ask them to remove their glasses. They may fall for it.
  • Border Guardian
    • Playing a land won’t cause any of Border Guardian’s abilities to trigger. But for the record, Unstable basic lands don’t have a border.
  • capital offense
    • all capital letters in the target creature’s rules text count, not just the ones in the first word of each sentence.
    • ability words are part of the creature’s rules text. any capital letters an ability word has will count.
  • By Gnome Means
    • You can put any established kind of counter on any permanent using the last ability. If that counter has no mechanical relevance, it’s still put on the creature. For example, you can put a loyalty counter on a creature this way. The loyalty counter won’t do anything, but who knows? The creature might one day become a planeswalker, and then it will. Dream big!
  • Chivalrous Chevalier
    • You don’t have to compliment an opponent if you’d rather return a creature you control to its owner’s hand or if you just can’t bring yourself to do it. We’ll assume the former.
  • Earl of Squirrel
    • If you control two Earls of Squirrel (Earl of Squirrels? Earl ofs Squirrel?), each will get +1/+1 from the other. Other Squirrels you control will get +2/+2.
  • Entirely Normal Armchair
    • It doesn’t have to be behind another card or item on the battlefield. In other words, you can hide it in plain sight. Easier to spot there though.
  • Graveyard Busybody
    • Speaking of that, cards in graveyards are shuffled into their owners’ libraries. You won’t put any cards from graveyards you stole, er . . . borrowed into your library.
  • Hangman
    • If Hangman changes controllers, the person who originally chose the word continues to fulfill their duties as letters or words are guessed. Now that this player doesn’t control Hangman, they will have a much easier time figuring out the word.
  • Knight of the Kitchen Sink (c)
    • There just needs to be an open mouth in the art. It can be in the background. It doesn’t have to be on the depicted creature. It also doesn’t need lips. An open skeleton mouth will do.
  • Mary O’Kill
    • For all intents and purposes, the exchanged card is taking the place of the original card. Whatever its doing, the state it’s in, whatever’s attached to it—all of it stays the same. It’s as if Mary O’Kill or one of the Killbots pulls off a mask to reveal they were actually the other one all along. Diabolical!
  • Rules Lawyer
    • You could hit up an all-you-can-eat poison counter buffet no problem. (704.5c)
    • You can control as many legendary permanents (including planeswalkers) with the same name as you want. It’s like your own personal Mirror Gallery! (704.5j)
    • You can control multiple permanents with the supertype world. So, that opens up some deck ideas, I’d imagine. (704.5k)
    • Auras you control stay on the battlefield if they’re attached to an illegal permanent or if they aren’t attached to a permanent (but should be). They may not do much because there probably won’t be an “enchanted [whatever],” but they’ll stay on the battlefield! (704.5m) Similarly, thanks to an un-documented silver-bordered state-based action no longer applying, your creatures with augment can now survive even if not attached to a host. If this happens, its power and toughness are 0/0. (704.5m)
    • If you somehow control a creature that’s attached to another permanent, that creature can stay attached. It can attack and block, even if another creature is carrying it. Similarly, if you control a permanent that isn’t an Aura, an Equipment, or a Fortification, it can stay attached to whatever you manage to get it attached to. Strange. (704.5p)
    • Good news for Rasputin Dreamweaver fans: you can ignore abilities of permanents you control that say it can’t have more than a certain number of a certain kind of counter. (704.5r)
  • Shellephant
    • You can change Shellephant’s creature types at any time and while Shellephant is in any zone. It can be a Turtle, an Elephant, or both. “And/or” isn’t a creature type.
  • Slaying Mantis
    • Just a second applies only if Slaying Mantis is being cast. If it enters the battlefield without being cast, players are free to move around their permanents. This includes midflight, resulting in a fun little game of dodgeball.

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